Savor the flavor: International, local chains abound in Manhattan

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Pizza is a college meal staple, and Manhattan is steeped in the pie’s history.

For example, the Pizza Hut in Aggieville is the oldest in existence, and there are several other pizza places around town that could one day give them a run for their money.

While Manhattan has several international chains, there are some home-grown restaurants in the area worth checking out.

I evaluated three pizzas from smaller chains, based on crust toppings and sauce.

PIZZA SHUTTLE – 4 and 1/2 out of 5

(1800 Claflin Rd)

The one aspect that sets Pizza Shuttle off is its toppings. Even if you order a one-topping pizza, they don’t leave much visible cheese. I got a Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza, and I think half the weight was the toppings. There were a lot.

Also, the toppings were above the cheese – not under it – and were spaced well so there were not more toppings on one slice and none on the other.

Beyond the sheer amount of them, the toppings were very good. The pineapple was fresh and juicy, and the Canadian bacon was cooked well and was not rubbery at all. It was how a Hawaiian pizza should taste.

The sauce is just average. It wasn’t really good or bad – it was just ordinary. It wasn’t at the forefront of the flavor and it blended nicely.

If you decide to get a pizza from Shuttle, make sure to get the ranch to dip the crust in. It’s almost as if they were engineered to taste excellent together.

LEMMY’S PIZZERIA – 5 out of 5

(Corner of 4th St. and Fort Riley Blvd.)

Lemmy’s has the best pizza in the city, hands down.

The first thing I tasted was the sauce; Lemmy’s also has the best sauce. It is sort of sweet, and when eaten warm, it dances in people’s mouth even after they have swallowed. I thought it was a little unusual.

The toppings are also under the cheese, and that makes for an interesting taste experience. I ordered pepperoni, and like Shuttle, they were spread out consistently. The pepperonis were also fresh and a little spicy which mixed nicely with the sweet sauce.

The crust was the weakest area of the pie. It was like Shuttle’s sauce – unremarkable. I felt like it was only there to hold the sauce, toppings and cheese.

GUMBY’S Pizza and pub – 3 out of 5

(701 N. 11th St.)

Gumby’s is the most average pizza of any of the joints I reviewed. It was good pizza, but there isn’t much to distinguish it from most other pizza places.

I got the Gumby’s version of the supreme, and I was less than impressed.

I felt like whoever put the toppings on was wearing a blindfold. There were some bites that had no toppings and some bites I needed to use both hands to support because of the influx of toppings. That the placement of the toppings on the pizza might seem trivial, but eating a pizza with unequally spaced toppings is just annoying.

The sauce was just like any other sauce and tasted good but ordinary.

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